Monday, May 16, 2011

REVIEW: David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights - Left By Soft

David Kilgour is rightly a guitar legend for his work with the Clean as well as his excellent solo albums. On his latest release, Left By Soft, the guitar takes front and center -- acoustic, electric, two and three guitar tracks on top of one another, and some spectacular leads. In addition, there's plenty of jangle. In fact, after about a 30-second intro in which the first track seems to be going in almost a heavy blues direction, the first chiming lead guitar takes off, and the record stays aloft from there on out.

There's some psychedelic guitar work on "A Break in the Weather" and a few other tracks, but most of it is pretty straight-ahead guitar rock, the kind of stuff you'd expect from Kilgour (as you would from, say, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and The Feelies) and it doesn't all sound the same so much as it all sounds absolutely wonderful.

To me, the highlight and centerpiece of the reocrd is the 6:10 "Diamond Mine", the 8th of 11 tracks. Composed of multiple overlaid guitar tracks, it's seamless and easygoing, but with fierce leads that take you here and there, while the band keeps things anchored. It's pure joy and a perfect example of the best of Kilgour's work.

Download "Diamond Mine" here:

If you're at all unfamiliar with his work, let me recommend Frozen Orange and The Far Now, both relatively recent releases. The Far Now has the same band on it. But I'd recommend all of it, including the old Clean records, because there are no low points.

In addition to Kilgour on guitars, the band consists of Taane Tokona on drums, Tony de Raad on guitar and keyboards, and Thomas Bell on bass and keyboards. They've made a wonderful record.

For a limited time, you can stream the whole release at Merge Records. Check it out.

Here's a strange little video of the song "Living in Space" that showcases Nashville, where Frozen Orange was partially recorded... no videos from the current album, yet.

David Kilgour Website

David Kilgour at Merge Records (2 downloads available)

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